Cecil and Ida Green Foundation honors Guidry with 2006 award

By Aline McKenzie

Graduate student Paula Guidry isn't just concerned about her own career — she wants to make sure her fellow students also find satisfying paths in life.

That dedication won her the 2006 Ida M. Green Award.

"The award is given to a female student who has demonstrated an outstanding commitment to the well-being of other students and the Southwestern Graduate School," said Dr. Melanie Cobb, holder of the Rolf Haberecht and Ute Schwarz Haberecht Deanship of the UT Southwestern Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, in honor of Olga & Max Haberecht and Anna & Hans Schwarz, and the Jane and Bill Browning Jr. Chair in Medical Science.

Representatives of the Cecil and Ida Green Foundation presented Ms. Guidry with the $2,000 award at an April 18 reception in the A.W. Harris Faculty-Alumni Center.

"I am sure that if Mrs. Green could be here this afternoon, she would be particularly pleased with Paula Guidry as this year's recipient of the Ida M. Green award," said Rust Reid, vice president of the foundation. "Her record of academic achievement, scientific scholarship, and teaching, combined with service to the community, show her to be exactly the kind of person for whom the award was created."

The late Mrs. Green was a great supporter of establishing women in education, in professional life and in civic leadership, he said.

"The idea of helping other students to excel and helping other students to find their way is one that's near and dear to me," said Ms. Guidry, a fifth-year student in immunology. "I think it's important for people to know about all the opportunities out there."

Among her accomplishments is chairing the monthly Quest for Career seminar series, which covers both traditional and non-traditional paths. Speakers have run the gamut from faculty members to an FBI special agent who specializes in computer forensics.

Ms. Guidry founded the UT Southwestern Biotechnology Career Fair and participates in selecting students for lunch meetings with speakers for the Excellence in Immunology lecture series.

Her awards include a 2001-2004 National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship and 2005 Philanthropic and Educational Organization Scholar Award. 

Ms. Guidry has also published two peer-reviewed articles. Her research, in the laboratory of Dr. Iwona Stroynowski, focuses on how the gastrointestinal tract can recognize pathogens while tolerating harmless bacteria.

Her interest in science manifested at a very early age, said her mother, Mary Ann Shawver of Wichita Falls, who attended the reception with Ms. Guidry's husband, David, her 17-month-old son, Jacob, and her grandmother, Julia Williams.

"When she was 4, we'd read the Childcraft book, How Things Work," Ms. Shawver said. "I had to restrict her to one or two stories a night. That was her bedtime story."

The Ida M. Green Award was established by the Southwestern Medical Foundation in honor of Mrs. Green, wife of Texas Instruments founder Cecil H. Green, who died in 2003. Mrs. Green, who died in 1986, provided unrestricted gifts to many community organizations, including a major bequest to the foundation.

UT Southwestern Center Times, May 2006